Pancake Sunday

It’s still lockdown here. We’ve been in lockdown since Christmas. I was sure back then that restrictions would be relaxed in January. How wrong was I? We have had to cancel our April holiday. This is the same April holiday we cancelled last year in April – we moved it to this April. Now we’ve had to cancel it a second time. It has been a year of cancelled holidays. I can’t really complain if cancelled holidays are our biggest grievance when others have lost jobs, homes, livelihoods, and for many, the people they love.

I’m hopeful that we’re coming out of the worst of it now and things will start to get better. We have vaccines – something many, including myself, thought impossible a year ago. If vaccines can keep transmission low enough such that we can continue to function as a society then we can’t hope for better than that.

Ben and I haven’t yet been invited for a vaccine. Ben is over 50 and I’m hopeful he’ll get a letter any day now. I’m in the 40-50 group and may have to wait longer after the news yesterday of vaccine supply issues.

Every Sunday now Elizabeth makes us all pancakes as a late breakfast, early lunch. It has become a nice family routine, partly a result of being unable to go anywhere for the past few months. Here’s my serving last Sunday which was Mother’s Day in the UK.

We don’t celebrate Mother’s Day and the day makes me feel rather sad because I know about the suffering of dairy cows and calves on factory farms. The worst thing you can do to a mother is take her baby away from her and this is what we do to cows after they give birth. It’s not like it used to be in times past when farmers shared the milk with calves.

You cannot call yourself a feminist and support the exploitation of the female reproductive system in this way. Cows are forcibly impregnated every 18 months or so and their babies are taken from them at birth so that adults of another species can drink the mother’s milk. You may argue that cows are a different species and therefore their interests don’t matter but the same argument which makes it wrong to give greater consideration of interests to men simply because they have a penis applies to animals in other species. The basic principle of equality and our concern for others should not depend on what others are like. It is our capacity for pain and suffering as well as enjoyment of life that is important and these are felt by all mammals, including cows. “If a being suffers, there can be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into consideration.” – Peter Singer.

So on Mother’s Day I always think about dairy cows (as well as the other animal mothers we torture and exploit for no benefit other than to satisfy our taste buds) and donated money to Viva, a UK charity that campaigns tirelessly for dairy cows.

I like this quote from Joaquin Phoenix – “It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal”. I could add to it and say it takes nothing away from a human to give up dairy products. Our vegan pancakes on Sunday were splendid. Made with plant-based milk and served with a plant-based yoghurt.

Spring has arrived and the park is filled with carpets of crocuses. They do look lovely.

The first of the daffodils have started blooming but it will be a few weeks yet before we see them at their best. Meanwhile I’ve been back at the allotment a few times after a winter hiatus. The kids and Ben joined me one weekend recently and the kids were bored so I suggested they dig a pond which they did. I had some plastic left over from something else so we lined the hole and filled it with water. It looks pretty bare as does the plot but things will change very quickly over the next few months.

7 thoughts on “Pancake Sunday”

  1. My Cantonese teacher asked me if I celebrated Mother’s Day and because I was unfamiliar with the word, I thought it was some obscure Chinese festival I’d forgotten (Chinese have them all over the calendar). I’ve always been very aware of all the people who are excluded on a Mother’s or Father’s Day, who don’t have a parent or who don’t have a good relationship with their parent and with all the difficulties you see on that front when working in a school, I find it incredible that the tradition is so strong.
    I wish I could do without milk but if I stop having it I tend to crave it and I haven’t worked out what deficiency is making me do that. Also I buy it for my office because if I don’t they just have the standard issue UHT Asda and I figured that if they have to drink it, we should get the organic stuff.

    1. Yes it must be simliarly sad for people who have lost mothers or who want to be mothers themselves but cannot.

      Food cravings pass. I get cravings for chocolate whenever I stop eating it but they disappear after a little bit of time. I don’t think it implies a nutrient deficiency. Some people get cravings for non-food items and these would be dangerous to act on. I’m sure I missed and craved milk and cheese when I first stopped consuming them. Now I find the smell of milk repulsive but it has been nearly 20 years ….

      1. There is definitely something missing because the craving starts off as a weird taste in my mouth and then gets worse until my mouth hurts. However I think you are right, it can’t just be milk that I am missing and it must be when my diet as a whole is sufficient that the craving goes away. The desire for milk is probably more psychological.

  2. A woman I know who lives in the country and defends all things farming, once said that a dairy cow has the most miserable existence of any animal, and if townies could see it they’d be horrified. Imagine having your baby taken off you year after year, to be milked until you’re exhausted, and your reward is the slaughter-house. It’s unconscionable, and makes me feel sick in the stomach just thinking about it. So glad that vegansim is on the rise.

    1. It’s is truly horrific; a grotesque exploitation of females and their reproductive systems. It is unconscionable and makes me feel sick too. I would rather eat deer from the wild that had been slaughtered to keep the population in check than consume dairy products. It’s also a strange juxtaposition that many people who view it as manly to exploit animals are drinking milk from mothers when they’re adults. It’s not just horrific and grotesque it’s also quite absurd.

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